|Publication number||US7978122 B2|
|Application number||US 12/461,489|
|Publication date||Jul 12, 2011|
|Filing date||Aug 13, 2009|
|Priority date||Aug 13, 2009|
|Also published as||CN101995572A, EP2284568A2, EP2284568A3, US20110037640|
|Publication number||12461489, 461489, US 7978122 B2, US 7978122B2, US-B2-7978122, US7978122 B2, US7978122B2|
|Inventors||Michael J. Schmidlin|
|Original Assignee||Tk Holdings Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (7), Classifications (19), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present disclosure relates generally to the field of radar and stereo vision sensing systems. More particularly, the disclosure relates to a system including both radar and stereo vision sensors.
One embodiment of the disclosure relates to an object sensing system. The object sensing system includes a radar system comprising at least one aperture through which a radar signal is transmitted and at least one aperture through which reflected radar signals are received. The sensing system also includes a stereo vision system comprising a first sensor and a second sensor. The first sensor and the second sensor are separated by an offset. The stereo vision system is mounted to the radar system to form a single assembly. The radar system is positioned in the offset between the first sensor and the second sensor.
Another embodiment of the disclosure relates to a method for assembling a radar and stereo vision system. The method includes the steps of mounting a radar assembly to an apparatus, adjusting an elevation angle of the radar assembly with respect to the apparatus, mounting a stereo vision assembly to the radar assembly such that the radar assembly is positioned between a first sensor and a second sensor of the stereo vision assembly, adjusting an offset between the first sensor and the second sensor of the stereo vision assembly, and adjusting an elevation angle of the stereo vision assembly with respect to the radar assembly.
It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only, and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.
These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, appended claims, and the accompanying exemplary embodiments shown in the drawings, which are briefly described below.
Stereo vision sensor technology can be used to detect objects and estimate the position of objects in three dimensions. The detection and estimation can be obtained from a slightly different projection of the objects on two camera sensors positioned with a horizontal offset between them. The difference between the images of the two sensors is called horizontal disparity. This disparity is the source of the information for the third dimension.
A typical stereo vision sensor may be equipped with two identical camera sensors with parallel boresight vectors. The two sensors are positioned with an offset in a direction that is orthogonal to the boresight vectors. This offset or separation is called the baseline separation. The baseline separation and the tolerance of collinearity between the boresights of the two vision sensors impact the three-dimensional accuracy.
A radar, for example a monopulse radar, is typically equipped with two receive and/or two transmit apertures with a boresight angle and relative positioning that is chosen in a way similar to the stereo vision sensor described above. For example, in a radar with two receive apertures, the back scatter from a target that reaches one of the receive apertures typically reaches the other aperture with a slightly longer or shorter return path length. The difference in the return path length is used to compute the angle of the target with respect to a reference angle.
A patch antenna is a cost effective antenna design that is etched onto one side of a radio frequency (RF) substrate and fed from the other side of the substrate. Patch antennas are advantageously very thin.
Radar system 14 includes a housing 15 surrounding a transmitter 17 and a receiver 19. The housing includes a transmit aperture 20 through which a radar signal is transmitted and two receiving apertures 22 through which reflected radar signals are received. The boresight or elevation angle and relative positioning of the aperture 20 and the apertures 22 is chosen in a way similar to the stereo vision sensor 12 described above. According to other exemplary embodiments, the housing of radar system 14 may include a transceiver and the housing may include a single transmit/receive aperture. According to still other exemplary embodiments, the housing may include more than one transmit aperture and receive aperture. Radar system 14 also includes arms 24 and pads 26 for mounting to another surface or system. For example, in a radar 14 with two receive apertures 22, the back scatter from a target may reach one of the receive apertures 22 with a slightly longer or shorter return path length than at the other receive aperture 22. The difference in the return path length is used to compute the angle of the target with respect to a reference angle (e.g., the angle in which the radar system 14 is directed). According to some exemplary embodiments, the radar system 14 may be any monopulse radar system, while in other exemplary embodiments, other radar systems may be used. According to some exemplary embodiments, the radar system 14 may be a patch antenna radar system. According to some exemplary embodiments, the radar system 14 may operate in a frequency band of between 50 and 100 GHz. According to other exemplary embodiments, the radar system may operate at about 77 GHz.
The object sensing system 10 makes use of the baseline separation between the two camera sensors 16, 18 and the relatively thin qualities of the monopulse patch antenna radar system 14. The object sensing system 10 utilizes the baseline separation of the camera sensors 16, 18 as a location for the radar system 14 and any associated processing electronics. The construction of the system 10 generally provides for an efficient radar-SVS assembly. The mounting arrangement of the system 10 is generally compact and puts much of the mechanical strain on the radar enclosure 14 because it has higher mechanical tolerances than the SVS 12, which may be susceptible to vibration. Further, aesthetics of separately mounted independent sensor assemblies in a sensor fusion system may be improved by this more compact package.
The radar system 14 is generally accurate at longer distances and for measuring speed (e.g., a distant oncoming vehicle) while the SVS 12 is generally more accurate at shorter distances than the radar system and for object identification (e.g., detection of pedestrians or nearby immobile objects). Therefore, the use of the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 together may allow for accurate detection and measurement of objects at a wider range of distances.
The elevation or boresight angle can be adjusted by rotating the screw 28 (e.g., clockwise or counter-clockwise). The screw 28 is coupled between SVS 12 and radar system 14 at an angle so that when the screw 28 is rotated, the SVS 12 moves both vertically and horizontally and rotates about a pivot point 39 of the pivot mechanism defined by the projections 34 of radar system 14 and the projection 36 of SVS 12. According to various exemplary embodiments, the screw 28 may be adjusted manually or may be adjusted automatically by a motor. While the illustrated exemplary embodiments show the use of a screw 28 to adjust the SVS 12 relative to the radar system 14, according to other exemplary embodiments, other fasteners and methods of adjustment may be used. Relative calibration of the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 in a monitoring system may be easier than stand-alone sensors, and since the position of the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 is fixed—though adjustable—only one sensor may require an in-depth calibration with respect to the sensing environment.
By collocating the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 as illustrated, a cost and materials savings can be realized. For example, a single power supply 46 can be housed in the larger radar assembly 14 and can be shared with the SVS 12. In another example, the shared physical space of the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 can allow for very short cable lengths running between them. Further, processing for the SVS 12 and the radar system 14 can be executed in the same hardware (e.g., processing circuit 48) as a result of the shared physical space. Further still, diagnostics and calibration software can be shared by the SVS 12 and the radar system 14. While the power supply 46 is illustrated in a housing of the radar system 14 and the processing circuit 48 is illustrated in a housing of the SVS 12, according to other exemplary embodiments, the power supply 46 may be located in the housing of the SVS 12 and the processing circuit 48 may be located in the housing of the radar system 14. According to other exemplary embodiments, the power supply 46 and the processing circuit 48 may both be located in one of the radar system 14 housing or the SVS 12 housing. According to still other exemplary embodiments, one or both of the power supply 46 and the processing circuit 48 may be located remotely from the radar system 14 housing and the SVS 12 housing.
It is noted that while
It is noted, for the sake of simplicity, that the object sensing system 10 shown in
It is also important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of the system as shown in the preferred and other exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a certain number of embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements shown as multiple parts may be integrally formed, the operation of the assemblies may be reversed or otherwise varied, the length or width of the structures and/or members or connectors or other elements of the system may be varied, the nature or number of adjustment or attachment positions provided between the elements may be varied. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure. Other substitutions, modifications, changes and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the preferred and other exemplary embodiments without departing from the spirit of the present subject matter.
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|U.S. Classification||342/55, 340/937, 342/52, 342/70|
|International Classification||G01S13/00, G08G1/017|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T29/49016, G01S13/4454, G08G1/04, G01S11/12, H04N13/0239, G01S13/92, G01S7/03, G01S13/867|
|European Classification||G01S13/86, H04N13/02A2, G01S7/03, G01S13/92, G06T7/00D|
|Aug 13, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TK HOLDINGS INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SCHMIDLIN, MICHAEL J.;REEL/FRAME:023125/0894
Effective date: 20090811
|Jan 9, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4